This spring, I’m hosting a guest blog series called “Five Photographs.” I asked a bunch of writers to submit five pictures and complete a brief interview. Today’s guest is JC Stockli. Welcome, JC!
Something Unique About You:
My ring represents my marriage, but it is a unique ring, just like my relationship with my husband. He special ordered it because he wanted something out of the norm. The engagement ring did not have a matching band (because what guy thinks of that when he orders a ring), so the wedding band is literally one-of-a-kind, hand-carved to match the engagement ring. More than that, it is a representation of a truly unusual relationship. We were two very anti-relationship kind of people, but within 3 weeks decided to get engaged. That was 10 ½ years ago, and we’ve been married for 8 ½ of those years. Everything in our life together has happened fluidly. From the moment we met to the birth of our children, nothing has been a struggle for us. We are truly blessed. Life has naturally progressed since we found each other. How many young couples can say that these days?
Something That Represents Where You Live:
I have taken some real breathtaking photos of the area that I live in, but this one in particular makes me happy. This was my back yard a few weeks ago. I awoke to this amazing blood orange hue warming my bedroom, setting everything on fire. When I look outside, this is what I saw. I live in the country, but am a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean. I can hear the sea gulls along the coast while watching hawks fly overhead. It’s amazing.
Your Pet or Plant or Thing You Care For:
This is my “Awesome Possum”. Ever since we rescued this boy after being found alone underneath the wheel well of a school bus in the middle of Kentucky, Possum has been the perfect addition to our New England family… and I haven’t stopped writing since he arrived. My husband says he is my muse.
Something That Frustrates You:
The fact that I spend more time alone in my office rather than with my family or doing what I love frustrates me. I believe that you have to smile and/or laugh at least once a day at work. Such a feat is difficult to accomplish on days when your whole family is home and you’re not. My daughter wrote this on my white board in my office, and while I realize that she was just saying I’d be out to lunch, I can’t help but find the dramatic undertone beneath it. Work sucks!
Something That Brings You Joy:
These little monsters are my ALL. I think being a parent is hands down the most difficult job, because at the end of a 9-5 it’s not about going home to a glass of wine with dinner, maybe a work out and then some writing. It’s about making sure we all sit at the table together to chat about how our day went. It’s about making sure homework is done and tubbies are set. Let’s be honest, it’s about relinquishing all rights to privacy in the bathroom and premature grey hairs. On the weekends, it’s not about warrioring through a couple of chapters, but what you can do as a family to make lasting memories. Writing is secondary, even when your daughter walks up to you and asks if you’re done with your book yet. It’s about turning her on to reading so that she may be inspired to follow in your footsteps someday. It’s a difficult balance when you have passion for your work, but it’s worth it.
What’s the elevator pitch for your latest published novel?
The Nothingness is about an alcoholic waitress. It’s a dark, urban fantasy with paranormal elements, but the heart of the series is about the main character’s struggle to overcome her addictions. The first book in this series introduces the drug to the main character, where the remainder of the series takes her through the various stages of intervention, reveling in the high, over-dosing, hitting rock bottom, and finding ways to cope and recover.
What are you working on next?
Aside from working on the sequel to The Nothingness (The Saving, which I hope to release this July), I have a paranormal fantasy about witchcraft and a very intimate connection between two people. It was really just a story I wrote for myself, that literally flowed out of me in a month’s time. I feel it would be a shame not to share it with the world. I also have several other WIPs, another being a dark faerie fantasy / Gothic romance. I just sort of let my mind go with that one. It’s been amazing.
What are you currently reading?
Too much… Ha! But seriously, I have several “to read” books in my pile, I’m trying to wrap up The Shadow Fabric by Mark Cassell. It’s a great mystery/thriller based on witchcraft folklore, which I dig.
What are you currently watching (TV shows)?
Not a cop-out, but I don’t watch a lot of TV. I probably should, but I really don’t. When I do, it’s usually Scrubs reruns with my husband, or Big Bang Theory reruns. If I’m going to watch TV, I usually like it to be an escape, effortless, and funny. Have you ever watched Drunk History? 100% hilarious!
Favorite fantasy creature, villain, or weapon not from your own work?
I’m a Star Wars dork. I’m a fan of the Order of the Sith. Where I respect Darth Vader for the legend he is, I am partial to Darth Maul. His fighting style is just badass, and his death was a tragedy… but I realize there can be only two 😉
Biggest challenge facing writers today?
Exposure. I think the digital age has been great for indies, but it’s a double-edged sword in my opinion. Social media is a useful tool, but it’s so immense of an undertaking to create a profile out of thin air. This is where I feel traditional publishing, even down to a small press has the upper hand. Indies don’t have a network of their own. They have to go out and make their own friends from scratch, not through a publishing house. It’s a daunting task for any introvert, even if we’re guarded by our digital cloak.
How can we meet that challenge?
Groups that aim to foster constructive, synergistic relationships between writers of all genres. The groups I have joined have been wonderful. They are full of supportive and positive criticism. They make it easier to build up the nerve to share ideas. And they say “sharing is caring”. No matter what stage of the game you are at in your writing career, we all need to pitch in and support each other. There’s a readership out there for all of us.
Thank you for sharing your pictures and thoughts with us, JC. Your little climbers are cute and your Awesome Possum is adorable! 🙂